A carbon neutral certification demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to decarbonisation as you cut your organisational or product footprint and neutralise any remaining emissions through the support of environmental projects.
The road to Net Zero
Businesses play a critical role in accelerating the Net Zero transition. In addition to the essential task of setting and delivering Net Zero trajectories, it is more important than ever to drive good quality avoidance offset generation through carbon neutrality. These offsets are a key present-day supplement to emissions reductions aligned to a 1.5˚C pathway.
What is a carbon neutral footprint?
A carbon neutral footprint is one where the sum of the greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) produced is offset by natural carbon sinks and/or carbon credits. Very importantly, it sets out requirements for quantification and reduction of emissions.
Carbon neutral certification contributes to an organisation’s commitment to decarbonisation, and the neutralisation of remaining impact through the support of environmental projects. It is independently certified to the international PAS 2060 standard.
What is PAS 2060?
PAS 2060 is the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality and builds on the existing PAS 2050 environmental standard. It sets out the requirements for quantifying, reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for organisations and products.
In order to achieve the certification, a company must:
- Measure the footprint within a clearly defined boundary.
- Develop a qualifying explanatory statement (QES) including:
- Statement of commitment
- Timescale for achievement
- A carbon management plan and targets for GHG reductions
- Planned means of achieving ongoing emissions reductions
- Offset strategy
- Purchase high quality carbon credits/offsets such as Gold Standard, VCS and Woodland Code UK to compensate for remaining emissions.
How does carbon neutrality enable global decarbonisation?
Carbon neutrality enables global decarbonisation by requiring commitments to decarbonise at company level and a willingness to offset remaining impacts – for example, there must be a carbon management plan and targets for GHG reductions in place.
It contributes to global decarbonisation efforts through investments in high quality carbon credits/offsets. The SBTi recommends that companies prioritize near-term science-based targets, followed by securing and enhancing carbon sinks to avoid the emissions that arise from their degradation. Examples include purchasing high quality carbon credits.
Benefits of carbon neutral certification for your business
- Demonstrate your commitment to decarbonisation
- Enhance your green credentials through an annual commitment
- Differentiate yourself as an environmentally responsible and sustainable brand
- Contribute to global decarbonisation efforts by supporting high-quality environmental projects
- Align your business to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
How we can help
We certify organisations, products, and selected Scope 3 categories to PAS 2060.
Carbon neutral certification for organisations and sites
The Carbon Trust certifies organisations and sites when they have:
- A robustly measured footprint,
- A commitment to reducing year-on-year emissions evidenced in a carbon reduction plan, and
- Offset their remaining footprint with verified carbon offsets.
Upon recertification, you must demonstrate the actual reductions made to retain a carbon neutral status. The organisational label can be used to help you communicate your sustainability credentials.
Carbon neutral certification for products
The Carbon Trust certifies products as carbon neutral when they have:
- A robustly measured footprint,
- A commitment to year-on-year emissions reductions evidenced in a carbon reduction plan, and
- Offset their remaining product footprint with verified carbon offsets.
Our certified label with a carbon neutral scope shows that the product footprint is achieving ongoing reductions, and any outstanding emissions are offset*, in accordance with the international PAS 2060 standard.
The duration of certification is one year, after which the product must be re-certified if it is to continue to use the label. Re-certification requires evidence that reductions have been achieved in the preceding period in both absolute and intensity terms.
We advise clients that all products carrying this label must provide clear additional information through their own communications channels to ensure the highest degree of transparency.
We have recently reviewed and revised the Carbon Trust Product Carbon Footprint usage guidelines to ensure increased clarity and transparency. We regularly review consumer and market insights and trends and update our labels and guidelines accordingly. Therefore, it may be possible that some of the older labels still appear on products in the market. In the interest of limiting waste, packaging with the old labels has not been replaced and written off but will rather run its course before the new labels are implemented.
Find out more about product carbon footprint labelling.
What is the difference between carbon neutrality and Net Zero?
Boundary: Carbon neutrality has a minimum requirement of covering Scope 1 and 2 emissions, while Scope 3 is encouraged. Net Zero must cover Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
Level of ambition: An organisation does not need to cut its emissions in line with a certain trajectory to be carbon neutral. However, to be Net Zero, an organisation must reduce its emissions along a 1.5˚C trajectory across Scope 1, 2 and 3.
Approach to residual emissions: To achieve carbon neutrality, an organisation must purchase carbon offsets that either result in carbon reductions, efficiencies, or sinks. For Net Zero, an organisation must purchase GHG removals that either remove or store carbon.
Why the Carbon Trust?
We are the world’s leading independent certification body for carbon footprints. Our certification process follows the only internationally recognised carbon neutral specification, PAS 2060, a standard which was developed by BSI with input from the Carbon Trust.
We ensure your carbon accounting and carbon management plans are robust, while your purchased offsets are credible. We only accept offsets which are deemed as high quality, such as the Gold Standard or VCS. For a full list, please get in touch.